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In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The quote is excellent in describing the process of content marketing. The first stage is the idea stage – it gets everyone excited, sells the C-suite, and unifies the team around the goal of gaining sales. The second stage – implementation – can be where the work gets hard, repetitive, and frustrating. This is the perseverance stage. And unfortunately, this is where many firms lose their clients.
As a marketing group, there’s nothing more frustrating than when your clients start to lose steam. Perhaps they expected more instant results. Perhaps they thought the content creation process would be more exciting and less tiresome. Or perhaps the company leadership has introduced new initiatives that are putting pressure on the content marketing team or budget. Regardless, it’s up to you to reignite their fire and keep them on the path to success.
1) Remind Them of the Why. Sometimes all it takes to rekindle enthusiasm is to take them back to the idea stage and remind them why they set up the content marketing process to begin with. Remind them of what their old results were and what their new results can be. Show them the numbers they saw in the early stages, and help them understand why they’re in this process.
2) Celebrate Small Victories. We know that content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint, but most companies don’t know that. They made big promises to their management and now they need to deliver. Be sure to keep your client apprised of every small victory, and help them see the incremental progress that is being made. This will go a long way to helping them understand and share the wins of the content program.
3) Shake it Up. Maybe the client needs a bit of a new direction or a fun new initiative to get excited about. Can you run a promotional contest for their customers? Can you create a customer-input campaign for a new product? Shaking things up is a good way not only to renew confidence, but to bring a boost to your client’s customer engagement.
4) Choose Your Audience. There’s an old business philosophy that says discouragement should go up, and encouragement should go down, in the company structure. That means to take your concerns to your management, but constantly be inspiring the team that reports to you. It’s the same when you have clients. If you display apathy or frustration about a campaign, the client is going to mirror that emotion. It’s not wrong to have concerns or irritation – just choose to take that upward, to folks who can help, rather than downward to your client.
5) Stay Motivated Yourself. We’re all human. We like quick wins and immediate success. Even when we know it’s a marathon, we can get tired. Give yourself appropriate breaks, make sure you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and give yourself kudos and encouragement. When you stay motivated, you’ll be a lot better at bringing motivation to your team and your client.
There’s a saying that motivation doesn’t last, but neither does bathing – and that’s why both are recommended daily. Don’t get discouraged if you find you are reinforcing your client – or yourself – regularly. With proper encouragement, both you and your client will begin to reap the large rewards of a consistent content marketing program.
Is it hard to keep clients motivated? What are your tips? Share in the comments!!